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Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent assessment he has made of allegations of control by the Palestinian Authority of suicide bombers in Israel. 
Mr. Bradshaw: We have seen the Israeli dossier alleging President Arafat's involvement in terrorism, but cannot verify its authenticity. The EU Commissioner for External Affairs, Chris Patten, has made it clear that he has seen no hard evidence corroborating its claims about the misuse of EU funds. The Palestinian Authority has denied its allegations.
President Arafat must make all possible efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. Both sides have a responsibility to end the cycle of violence and engage in a political process which offers their people a peaceful way forward.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will discuss with the EU the allegations by the Israeli Government that sums contributed by the EU to the Palestinian authorities have been directed to funding members of Fatah and of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The allegations made by the Israeli Government about the misuse of European development funds relate to budgetary support provided by the European Commission (EC). The EU Commissioner for External Affairs, Chris Pattern, has made it clear that he has seen no hard evidence corroborating claims about the
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misuse of EU funds. The EC attach strict conditionality to the direct budgetary assistance provided to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The conditions mainly reinforce the need for transparency on the PA's public finances, strengthening the prudent management of the budget, and encouraging progress on overall financial and administrative reform. We are satisfied that the EC, with the assistance of the IMF, is ensuring the conditions are met.
Sir Teddy Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much money the EU has provided to the Palestinian authorities in each of the past three years; what measures are taken by the EU to ensure that the money is spent on the issues to which they are directed; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Between 19942001 (figures most recently available), EC aid to the Palestinian Authority and to Palestinian refugees totalled euro 1.466 billion. The UK share of this is an estimated euro 245 million.
The EC attach strict conditionality to the direct budgetary assistance provided to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The conditions mainly reinforce the need for transparency in the PA's public finances, prudent management of the budget and progress on overall financial and administrative reform. We are satisfied that the EC, with the assistance of the IMF, is ensuring the conditions are met.
Angus Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will list the meetings held between (a) UK diplomatic staff in the middle east and (b) staff from his Department with representatives of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine since 1 September 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bradshaw: British diplomats in Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem meet DFLP representatives on an occasional basis, including at diplomatic receptions. They have had no contact with the DFLP this year.
Mr. Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what assessment he has made of the military objectives that Israeli armed forces have achieved by their siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. 
Mr. Bradshaw: Israel's stated military objective was to root out terrorists. But neither side can achieve lasting security through force. Actions by both Israel and the Palestinian Authority have contributed to the crisis. Israel must withdraw from Palestinian controlled areas and act in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions including SCR 1402 and international humanitarian law. The Palestinian Authority must do everything in its power to stop the violence against Israelis.
Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what precedents and rules have been adopted by institutions of the European Community in coming to a decision as to whether actions are better achieved by national or Community action, with reference to Article 5 TEC. 
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Peter Hain: The treaty of Amsterdam annexed to the treaty establishing the European Community a Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality to define more precisely the criteria for applying them and to ensure their strict observance and consistent implementation by all institutions. Legislative proposals must be explicitly justified in terms of subsidiarity. The choice of legal instrument employed is also subject to the subsidiarity test.
The Government welcome the opportunity, afforded by the Convention on the Future of Europe, to examine the question of subsidiarity and the delimitation of competencies between the Union and the member states. We support the Amsterdam Protocol, but will be seeking ways to embed this principle more robustly within the EU's system of institutions, and to consider mechanisms that will monitorand enforcesubsidiarity and proportionality more effectively.
Mr. Connarty: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what the outcome was of the General Affairs Council held in Brussels on 13 May; what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if he will make a statement. 
Peter Hain: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and I represented the UK at the General Affairs Council (GAC) in Brussels on 11 May. Conclusions were agreed by consensus and no formal votes were taken.
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